Govt to set up Rs. 8 billion pharmaceutical plant in Horana | Sunday Observer

Govt to set up Rs. 8 billion pharmaceutical plant in Horana

22 November, 2020

The Government is setting up a new pharmaceutical plant on 64 acres belonging to the  Urban Development Authority (UDA) at Millewa, Horana.

The land acquisition has been finalised and the estimated cost of the project would be around Rs.8 billion, State Minister of Production, Supply and Regulation of Pharmaceuticals Prof. Channa Jayasumana told the Sunday Observer yesterday.

He said a separate zone to export drugs will also be set up at Hambantota close to the Hambantota Port, which would be an export-oriented pharmaceutical zone. Already, we have a good market for drugs in the South Eastern and African regions.

Another zone for local manufacturers will be in Oyamaduwa in Anuradhapura, where the Government held the Deyata Kirula Exhibition in 2013, and the same land will be used for this purpose, he said.

Prof. Jayasumana said Rs.130 billion is spent annually to import drugs. The President has given me a target to make the country self-sufficient in Western medicine within five years and we are in the threshold of realising it.

“Probably, we can achieve 50 percent of self-sufficiency within three years. We have launched the project, and I am confident that we can achieve the target in five years.”

The State Minister said that at present, only 15 percent of the medicinal requirement is met locally while 85 percent is imported. With the collaboration of the private sector, we are establishing a new pharmaceutical plant.

We could produce insulin, anti-cancer drugs, anti-venom and anti-rabies vaccines within the next two years on the import of which we spend a huge sum.

In addition, we are focussing on developing certain medical devices within the country.

Prof. Jayasumana said that there was a state-sponsored drug mafia over the past five year sunder the patronage of the Health Minister of the Yahapalana Government.

The facts have been revealed via the Presidential Commission report on how enormous amounts of money had been diverted to private companies and foreign agents under the guise of pharmaceutical purchases.